Another year is quickly coming to an end. This is the time when most people sit and reflect on the year’s progress, setbacks, and accomplishments. This is also the perfect time to reflect on the big dog events of 2011.
The year started off big for canines as Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance® Pet Foods, Inc. broke a Guinness World Record® with their float in the Tournament of Roses® Parade on January 1st. Natural Balance® broke a Guinness World Record® in last year’s Rose Parade, having the longest float ever. This year’s goal was to break the record for “Heaviest Float” ever, and indeed they did. Their float weighed a record breaking 84,000 pounds. How did they do it, you ask? By filling their float with water – 4,000 gallons of water to be exact. This year’s float featured a pool, for dock diving dogs to jump into, and a water way for dogs to skimboard across during the parade. The dogs who got to show off their moves included Tillman the skateboarding Bulldog (named “World’s Fastest Skateboarding Dog” by Guinness World Records®), and the winners of a contest held last November by Natural Balance®. Happy pups splashing, slipping, and sliding to “Who let the Dog’s Out”, quickly turned this float into a fan favorite. The crowd loved it, the float received awards, such as “Exceptional Merit”, and most importantly, they broke a Guinness World Record®. Paws-itively Delightful!
Dogs kept the ball rolling into February by beating out husbands for Valentine’s gifts. In February, Google search trends showed Valentine’s Day searches for “Personalized Dog Gifts” were 10% higher than “Personalized Husband Gifts”. Overall, Google searches for “Valentine’s Day Dog Gifts” increased by 30% this year compared to last year. Searches for “Flowers for dogs”, “Red dog collars”, and “Chocolates for dogs” also increased this year by 10%, 10%, and 20%, respectively. Watch out men – You seem to have a little competition.
Not all news from this year has been good news. Every year passes with heartbreaking stories of animal abuse or neglect. Riverside County had seen steady growth during the 90’s into the early 2000’s. So much so that Corona was the fastest growing city from 2000 – 2004 which caused the sprouting a new city, now known as East Vale. But what goes up must come down, and the current state of the economy has left hundreds of homes abandoned due to foreclosure. But homes were not the only thing being abandoned this year. As families were forced to move into apartments or living situations that do not allow dogs, they decided to abandon their dog with the house. If the dog was lucky enough to be noticed by a neighbor, he might have made it to a shelter or rescue group and may have found a new home. Sad as it is, this problem is not isolated to California and has been happening across the country, creating an even greater burden on the already overcrowded animal shelters. This is why it’s more important than ever to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group.
That was just breaking news from the beginning of the year. Check put ‘Part 2’ to find out how dogs raised thousands of dollars for The American Cancer Society, are working to change laws in Washington, and are becoming National Champions. All that and more, coming up this week.